A TEENAGER who stabbed a man to death during a county lines drug deal was today sentenced to ten years and four months in a young offender institution with an extended three-year licence period.

Brooklyn Bell, 19, of Parkwood Rise, Keighley, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Simon McMinn after a trial at Bradford Crown Court in January.

He killed him in a wooded area of Aireville Park, Skipton, on the evening on July 28 last year.

Bell was also sentenced for causing grievous bodily harm with intent by stabbing a man in the back in Bournemouth and for being concerned in the supply of heroin and supplying heroin.

Prosecutor John Elvidge QC said Bell was a drug runner for the Sully Line and he expected to sell up to £400 worth of heroin and crack cocaine in Skipton that day.

Mr McMinn, 44, confronted him in the park after the teenager approached a group of youths and asked them if they were interested in buying drugs.

Bell attacked Mr McMinn with a flick knife, stabbing him three times, once in the shoulder and twice in the back.

He left the scene taking the knife, changed his appearance and disposed of his phone.

A victim personal statement from Mr McMinn’s mother, Sandra Freeman, stated that he was cruelly taken away from her.

She wished she could have been there to hold and comfort him. He was in her thoughts first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

She would break down and cry when she saw his ashes.

Bell had shattered their family and she could never forgive him for all the lives he had ruined.

The court heard that Bell was on police bail at the time for stabbing Leon Stratford, 54, on August 11, 2019. He suffered a collapsed lung after Bell knifed him three times in the back.

Mr Elvidge said Mr Stratford and a friend were approached by Bell near The Prom Diner on the seafront in Bournemouth. He was asking them questions and Mr Stratford became ‘intolerant’ of him.

Bell was threatening and aggressive and said he would ‘sort the man out’ and ‘you don’t know who I am.’ He stalked him and stabbed him on a zig-zag path about an hour later.

Afterwards, Bell tapped lyrics into his phone that said: “Man got splashing. I left that crime scene happy.”

Mr Elvidge said they were ‘celebratory’ and he had shared them.

Christopher Tehrani QC, Bell’s barrister, said he was 16 when he attacked Mr Stratford and 18 when he killed Mr McMinn. His immaturity and lack of intellectual functioning had a great impact on his ability to interact at school and in the larger world.

Mr Tehrani conceded that the Bournemouth attack was ‘cowardly and unjustified’ with a dangerous weapon, a flick knife. But he said there was no evidence about who took the knife to Aireville Park.

He highlighted Bell’s immaturity and unsettled life. He had lived in Spain and was tricked into coming back and then trafficked and exploited.

Bell had himself been stabbed by those who were controlling him in London.

There had been one incident of violence in HMP Doncaster but there was no evidence that he was involved in any gang culture there.

Judge Jonathan Rose said he had read probation, psychological and psychiatric reports.

Bell had been bullied when growing up in Devon. He had moved to Spain where he suffered racist abuse. He then became involved with a criminal gang in London and was groomed for the task of selling drugs.

In August, 2019, he was working in Bournemouth as a drug dealer when he argued with Mr Stratford. He wasn’t prepared to leave that dispute behind and he stalked him before launching a surprise attack, stabbing him three times in the back.

Mr Stratford had been left anxious and suffering a loss of confidence. He became short of breath very easily.

Bell fled to Spain but returned to the UK and was bailed.

He moved to Keighley and fell in with drug dealers. He was by now streetwise and Judge Rose said he didn’t accept that he was groomed into joining the Sully Line. He was a drug dealer by choice with a ruthless streak, revelling in his chosen path of criminality.

Judge Rose said he was sure that Bell was armed with the knife that he used to kill Mr McMinn.

Mr McMinn had just been released from prison and he had been drinking and taking drugs. He arranged to buy more from Bell and they met in the park at 8pm.

He was angry with Bell for offering to sell a youth ‘sniff’ or cocaine.

Bell drew his knife, stabbed him several times and ran away from the park leaving behind a dying man.

Bell was acquitted of murder by the jury but it was ‘a persistent and violent assault.’ As far as his drug dealing was concerned he was a runner for the Sully Line with a lesser role in the organisation.

Judge Rose said Bell carried a knife when dealing drugs in London and Bournemouth and would have carried one when trafficking them in Keighley and Skipton. He acted in anger when he stabbed Mr McMinn.

He was a dangerous offender with an entrenched antisocial attitude.